How To Navigate Your First Year As A Newcomer in Canada

How To Navigate Your First Year As A Newcomer in Canada

Starting afresh in a new country can be both exciting and overwhelming. As a newcomer or new immigrant to Canada, there are certain things you need to do to make your integration into your new community smooth. In this article, we will share some tips on how to navigate your first year as a newcomer in Canada.

Register for your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Your SIN is a unique nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada, file taxes, and access government programs and benefits. You can apply for your SIN online or in-person at a Service Canada Centre. In this article, we have written about the steps you need to get your SIN in Canada.

Register for Government Healthcare Service

All Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for public health insurance. So, once you have registered for your SIN, the next most important thing on the list is the healthcare registration. You can apply for a health card if eligible in the province or territory where you live. The healthcare application process varies depending on where you live, but you can usually apply online or in-person.

Sort out your accommodation

I will say this should be the number 1 on your list. It is important to find a place to live within the first few months of your arrival. As a newcomer, you need to sort this out before you arrive in Canada. If you have a family member in Canada, this can be easy. You can arrange to stay with your family member to friends until you are able to get something that suits your needs. However, if you don’t have any friend or family member in Canada, you might need to get a temporary accommodation. This can be an AirBnb or hotel accommodation. This will give you some time to be able to find a suitable accommodation once you are in Canada.

Engage the Settlement Services in Canada

The government of Canada provides free settlement services for newcomers. You can take advantage of these free government services for support and guidance on everything from childcare to language immersion and even finding a place to live. The interesting thing is that some of these organizations offer pre-arrival services. So, try to engage these settlement services before you arrive in Canada or as soon as you arrive in Canada.

Look for a Job

Unless you have unlimited resources, you will need to get a job as soon as you arrive in Canada. As a newcomer, finding a job can be challenging, but there are several resources available to help job seekers like you. You can search for job openings online, attend job fairs, or connect with employment agencies. Also, you can get your friends or family members to refer you to job(s) you may be interested in. The key is to have clarity on the type of job you are looking for and then put in the required effort to secure that job.

Get a Driver’s License

If you plan to drive in Canada, you will need to get a driver’s license. Each province and territory have its own licensing requirements. In one of our previous articles, we have shared some steps you need to take to get your driver’s license in Canada.

Connect with Your Community

Getting involved in your community can help you integrate into your new community faster.  Also, it can help you to make new friends and feel more connected. So, try to attend city or school gatherings, join local councils and / or participate in local events. If you don’t know how to go about this, visiting your local library can be the starting place. Libraries are great resources for free events and workshops.

Open a Bank Account

One other thing you need to do is to open a bank account. All the banks in Canada have newcomer’s program. To decide on the right bank account for you, you can discuss with your friends or family members. Irrespective of the banks you decide to go with, you should expect to get some welcome packages and goodies.

Settling into your new home country can be challenging, but it can also be exciting. By following our tips above, you can help make the transition smoother.

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